Price paid: £ 196
Purchased from: Gear4music
Features — 6
Pretty basic features. On/off switch and standby switch. Single input with a push button for added gain channel. A bass, middle and treble control and an additional volume for the gain channel. At the back you have a three prong power input and 3 speaker outs. It won't blow you away with with a breadth of options but it does what it says on the tin. If your looking for something along the lines of a blues junior or basic vox then this will fit the bill. It's super light too making it a breeze to carry.
Sound — 8
This is where the amp really shines. I didn't have great expectations for such a low cost but it really surprised me. At 12 o'clock you get a lovely clean sound, not as shrill as a Fender amp but not overly dark. It sounds full with a decent mid range sound with the bass or treble being too diminished. The gain channel is a bit of a let down so I tend to use an over drive pedal to give it some grit. It takes pedals really well too, so far I've only had a couple of problems but this was with a rat which is notoriously picky anyway. I play in a couple of bands that cover The Beatles and Stones through to the Foo Fighters and QOTSA and this amp works well. It's never gonna cover metal but for cleans, rock and blues it's a great affordable amp. Quiet too!
Reliability & Durability — 8
Surprisingly well put together. It's not a tank but it won't fall apart either. I've gigged for the best part of 6 months and there's only the usual tear and wear. Looking under the hood I can't see any sign of shoddy solder joints or damaged components. It's your standard mass produced board with generic parts but done well. The cab is equally well made. If your an average player doing a couple of gigs a month you can't go wrong. It's well covered and the rubber feet and metal corner pieces are pretty solid. It won't stand extensive touring but I'm a way off a world tour yet, it's fine for Friday nights at the nags head though.
Overall Impression — 8
I can't really fault this. Low price, reliable and does what it's meant to. It's no more basic than a Blues Jnr or Hot Rod Deluxe and really really will surprise you with sound. I used this to replace a Fender Twin Deluxe which was getting too heavy in my old age and this amp it a good lightweight replacement. I don't have to worry about damaging my expensive amp (stays at home now!) and if it did break it's cheap enough to get the head on its own. My only moan would be that the 5 watt amp needs making in a pub setting and the next one up is a 50 watt head. Wish there was a middle ground of 30 watts.